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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

Humboldt could not look without emotion oil tlio
rock, on the western shores of the Atabo, where the
woman had endeavoured to escape ; it is called the
*<rock of the mother'' to this clay. Humboldt ex-
claims : " if man scarcely leaves a trace of his exist-
ence in these deserts, the name of this rock,, an
imperishable monument of natxire, will remain as a
memorial of the moral perversity of our age, of the
contrast between the virtue of the savage, and barbarism
of civilized men. This is to the memory of a victim
of the bigotry and savageness of miserable wretches.,
who called themselves servants of a religion whose first
command is love of one's neighbour."
When Hurnboldt and Bonpland had arrived at
Quito on the Magdalen stream on the 9th Janua.ry?
1802, they devoted themselves for nearly nine months
to geological and botanical investigations of this dis-
trict. They wished also very much to ascend Chira-
borazo, considered to be the highest mountain on the
earth, and for this purpose excursions were made to
the snow covered tops of the Andes, especially to the
points of Antisano, Cotopaxi, Tumguragua, Pichincha,
and Ohimborazo.
Two unsuccessful attempts to reach the crater of
tlie wlcazio Pichincha had been already made, when
iiiey at last twice succeeded in making experiments
and observations here, Humboldt did not find the
orater cooled and filled with snow as a former traveller
Jiad done,, but inflamed and preparing for a volcanic
eruption. "When Humboldt subsequently brought this
information to Quito, which is only four or five thou-
sand toises distant from the crater, it excited universal
lamentation in the town, from fear that an approach-
ing eruption of the Pichincha would be dangerous for
file inhabitants of Quito.
But this visit to the volcano had nearly cost Hum-